From Our Special Correspondent
Silchar, Jan 7: Satindra Mohan Dev Stadium here was brilliantly lit up and a conducive ambience created for the 3rd State Games today which was iugurated by Tarun Gogoi, Chief Minister of Assam and Chairman of State Olympic Association. He heralded the event by lighting the Olympic lamp. In a glittering show with packed spectators, iugurating the events, Tarun Gogoi who looked tired because of his packed programme throughout the day said, “I feel happy to see all are enjoying the historic moment. I share their happiness.” It is through the games and sports that the spirit of brotherhood, friendship and harmony can be promoted.
Besides, it also helps in developing cultural activities as have been shown today. He added to say because of the emphasis of the state government in the field of games, many talented boys and girls have come forward and are shining in various competitions held on state and tiol levels. Some are also making their marks in intertiol are. He appreciated the best efforts put up by the organizers here to make the best of arrangement for the games. The Chief Minister said, “It is by creating such opportunities that boys and girls of the state can be motivated to blaze the trail and make Assam a hub of games.”
The tone however was set with the welcome speech of Ajit Singh, minister of sports and excise. He said the proposal to hold the biggest event here was mooted by the Chief Minister for which he expressed his gratefulness to him. He pointed out, “Games and sports held here will inspire and benefit the people of this valley in many ways.” Ajit Singh took the opportunity also to convey his thankfulness to the Silchar DSA authorities and the officials from Guwahati and also for their untiring efforts to make it possible for holding the state games.
Ajit Singh recalled the contributions of Santosh Mohan Dev, former union minister, for giving the people the grand stadium in the me of his father Satindra Mohan Dev. He also recalled the eminent persolities in sports who included Sunil Mohan Endow and Batu Das Gupta and their contributions. Ajit Singh revealed, “The Chief Minister is making every effort to develop games and sports in the State. For State Sports Body, a sum of Rs.1 lakh has been provided while for the district level, Rs.50,000.”
It is a moment of pride that Assam hosted the tiol level games and built up stadium of intertiol standard.” There is no dearth of money for games and sports in the state. His government is committed to build stadium in every block. “It is this spirit of sportsmanship in the Chief Minister which is behind the popularity of football and volleyball in rural areas also,” he pointed out.
Rakibul Hussain, Secretary of Assam Olympic Association and minister, addressing the gathering, was all praise for Tarun Gogoi for making Barak Valley the venue of 3rd State Games. It demonstrated his concern for treating Brahmaputra and Barak Valleys on par. “Together, we are and will remain”, this is the message, he said. Gautom Roy, Chairman of Assam Cricket Association, minister and advisor to the Chief Minister, and Sushmita Dev, MP, also spoke on the occasion.
The State Games will continue till January 12. The competitions in different events will go on simultaneously at Silchar, Soi and Udharbond. There are 25 disciplines, Silchar will take part in most of them. In all, 25 districts are participating in the state level games. In order to make the occasion a memorable event, balloons were set in the sky as a harbinger of peace preceding the iugural ceremony. It was followed by Olympic song and welcome song as well as group dance by different cultural groups.
Moreover, crackers were burst in the air and a multi-lingual song for peace, harmony and amity was played on. A colourful march past was carried out by the participants from all the districts. On this historic moment, Assam Olympic Association bestowed honour on Santosh Mohan Dev with citation and gifts which were received by Sushmita Dev, MP, his daughter, in his absence. The events of this evening began with the game of fencing.